Community Broadband Update July 2016
The Community Broadband Group recently sent a letter to residents, and are now offering further information which requires attention by 1st August.
Better Broadband for West Bergholt
Nearly 4 months ago, after recognising that the availability of broadband services in the West Bergholt area was becoming progressively less satisfactory, Aaron Williams was invited to give a presentation to the Parish Council meeting in April and it was agreed that improvement was essential. As a consequence, presentations were subsequently made by County Broadband, British Telecom Openreach and Voneus, all who are potential providers of alternative solutions. The Community Broadband Group was established to review presentations that had been made, to consider the options potentially available to the village, and to provide an impartial and considered view of what the Group believes to be in the best interests of the community.
The Voneus presentation showed that they offered a solution that would improve the broadband speeds available in the village, but otherwise differed only in minor details from the wireless technology already in use.
The BT Openreach presentation indicated that they could offer higher broadband speeds by installing “fibre to the cabinet” (FTTC). Although this would improve broadband speeds for the majority of residents, for technical reasons improvement could be limited for those living a distance from the cabinet. BT Openreach would charge residents collectively as much as £50K before carrying out any installation work. Another important consideration is that if this option were to be taken by a significant number of residents, it would almost certainly prevent availability to the village of the latest fibre technology for broadband delivery for many years (if not decades) into the future.
The County Broadband (CB) presentation began with a brief review of how they have served West Bergholt in the past. Around 5 years ago, when no other supplier offered a high speed broadband service, CB provided a service of up to 8mbs based on wireless technology; that speed has progressively increased to 32mbs, although wireless technology still puts a limitation on the extent to which quality can also be improved. CB now plan to install a fibre infrastructure throughout the village (subject to survey) enabling them to offer a broadband service, using “fibre to the home” (FTTH), without any installation charge to the village. Apart from greatly improved quality and reliability, this would bring further advantages; firstly, any connection could have broadband speeds of up to 1000mbs and secondly that, once installed, a fibre network is effectively a future proofed technology with almost unlimited capacity for future upgrades.
Best Interests of the Village
After careful consideration of the options available to the village from Voneus, BT Openreach and County Broadband, the Group has unanimously agreed that the best interest of the whole village is most effectively served by supporting County Broadband’s Fibre to the Home project, although the Group supports the right of all residents to make their own choice of provider. The Group considered a number of reasons for its conclusion but believes that three key facts justify its view.
- FTTH is the best and most future-proofed technology for broadband delivery
available anywhere in the UK.
- County Broadband requires no financial contribution from the village
- County Broadband has the lowest entry level pricing at £10 per month for
broadband and £6 for an optional phone service.
Should you not wish to take advantage of the service from County Broadband now, the existing BT Openreach service would still be available. The County Broadband system would then be available to you at a future date.
For further information, please contact [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].
Signed Roly Buss
Chairman – West Bergholt Community Broadband Group
In the letter by ‘without any installation charge to the village’ it was referring to County Broadband requiring no funding contribution from the village as a whole. After the 1st of August the zero installation fee (to the individual subscriber) period is due to end.
All residents were sent a copy of the letter as shown above. It provides a summary of the groups discussions and its conclusion. A full assessment document, which will contain more detail such as pros and cons, will only be published shortly but only electronically due to its length & detail.
The Broadband Group’s constitution
The following link is to a PDF file:
Who are we?
- Roly Buss MBE – Chairman. Former BT Health and Safety Officer. Satellite broadband & BT landline.
- Phillip Edwards – Secretary. Former BT Retail Marketing Manager. BT Broadband & BT landline.
- Robin Bailey – Former logistics executive. County Broadband & BT landline.
- Aaron Williams – Technology Enthusiast. County Broadband. No landline.
- Anthony Wootton – Former I.T. professional. County Broadband & VoIP landline.
- Gary Steers – Internet Technical expert. Works in the village.
Murray Harlow – Communications Parish Councillor.
Chris Davies – Withdrew due to other commitments.